Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Local Cinema Scene #1 - You Know It's Summer Season When...

Before I begin, let me start by saying I am in no way affiliated to any cinema operator. This is just an independent observation. Cool?

It's no open secret that Singapore still boasts one of the highest cinema attendances worldwide, despite dwindling numbers everywhere, coming from the challenge of DVDs, which are getting cheaper, and released earlier, just months (or weeks, depending on how late the movie gets released here) after its theatrical screening.

And given the numbers, somehow we're still building more cinemas and increasing the number of screens for a lot more movies. The Cathay just re-opened, and later this year, GV's mammoth 15 screen cinema at VivoCity will be ready. More cinemas = More screens = More variety right? NOT!

Take a look, this is from the cinema listings in Friday's Today. Except for Overseas Movie which doesn't get listed here (showing R(A) films only), and Jade Cinemas (Tamil/Hindi films only), these 3 are perhaps the largest theatre operators in our land. You know Summer is upon us when the size of cinema listings start to shrink, given the same frickin number of movies being repeatedly screened at theatres everywhere!




Got choice meh? It's always bad come summer season, as almost all the cinemas, no matter which chain, will show the latest flicks from Hollywood. Any theatre you step into until next week when X-Men 3 joins the fray, the choices are limited to M:I:III, Poseidon, The Da Vinci Code and Over The Hedge, sometimes showing in multiple screens in the same theatre to take advantage of *ahem* digital technology. Have a closer look.



Well, a very small number will offer some other movies, but they are limited screenings. Perhaps only Cathay Organization managed to offer a slightly different set of offerings with its exclusive showcases, screened under the same roof. Good for movie marathons over a weekend. Having The Picturehouse helps too.

Variety from Cathay!

But all in all, if you're eyeing that small niche movie that any cinema operator puts out, better make plans to watch them as soon as you can. They're not gonna last too long on the calendars, not when one blockbuster makes way for another at the rate of almost 1 per week.

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